Web Crashes Take Bigger Toll, Fuel Bigger Outrages

One engineer has a site to check whether favorite sites are actually down
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2008 7:59 PM CDT
When a server goes down, expect users to be outraged.   (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – A crashing website once was no big deal, but now it can cost a company millions and send customers into fits of rage. In a sign of the times, one San Francisco web engineer has started downforeveryoneorjustme.com, allowing visitors to see whether a site is down or if it's just their connection. He says surfers expect the Internet to work 24/7, "and people are looking for answers when it turns out not to be true.”

When Amazon went down last month, it lost more than a million dollars an hour, analysts say, and Twitter’s notorious glitches have sparked endless blog rants, and even mocking “Is Twitter Down?” shirts. One former Amazon executive feels the pain: "When these sites go away, it’s a sudden loss. It’s like you are standing in the middle of Macy’s and the power goes out,” he said. “When the thing you depend on to live your daily life suddenly goes away, it’s trauma.”